face, almost with curiosity. He stared into her red-rimmed
eyes and observed the feeble, frightening twitching of her
head, and in a flash thought how easy it would be to knock
that rotten old head in with one blow of his fist. One blow,
like a rain-rotten melon. His grip tightened on her wrist.
"All right," he replied, and dropped his hand from her
"I'll tell May/' she said gaspingly, triumphantly, "every-
"Everything," she reiterated, "and you'll never lay eyes
on her again."
He stood stock-still, looking at her. "All right," he said.
She stepped out into the hall, and pointed, quiveringly,
toward the front door. "Now get out!" she almost screamed.
When he got home, he changed clothes, ate some cold food
in the kitchen, went to the toolshed and got a cutting knife,
and hurried down to the field. They were cutting the last
field of tobacco now, not a field he had out on shares but
part of his own crop. He approached the men, said, " Hello/1
and began to work down a row. The men, Mr. Grimes and
two negroes, looked up to greet him soberly, then returned
to their occupations.
Mr. Munn felt the knife sink into the stalk, splitting it
almost to the ground, almost as though by its own weight.
Then he swung the blade and lopped off the heavy plant,
just below. The blade of the knife was clean-looking and
flashed in the sunlight. Now and then he paused to hold
up a plant in both hands and feel its weight and look at it
closely. It was going to be a fair crop, he thought again;
good considering the season, anyway. Then he would lay
the plant by, to wilt out before it could be racked on its
"Hit oughter weigh out pretty good," Mr. Grimes re-
marked, watching him inspect a plant.
"Looks like it," Mr. Munn answered, almost grudgingly.